As a new mom blessed with an adorable baby boy, I’m honored to be part of the SOS Children’s Villages Relay for Kids, and to take a turn at answering the question “what is the single most important thing a child needs?” Hint: it’s not a wipe warmer.
When I knew I was going to become a mom, I did a lot of preparation. I read all the books. I quizzed mom friends for advice and went to, what felt like, more classes than my first year of college. I washed piles of teeny clothes, loaded my freezer, and set up a nursery. And like most mamas-to-be, I started collecting baby stuff. A LOT of baby stuff. Friends, relatives, Pinterest and baby stores bombarded me with lists of items that I absolutely must have for my new baby. Truthfully, it was overwhelming, and my definition of “need” got a little fuzzy. Before long, we had a closet full of clothes, a basement full of gadgets, and more toys than three babies could play within a month. And I was convinced we needed all of it. How would we survive without a baby-sized bathtub? Or a special nursing pillow? Surely my license to parent would be revoked immediately if I brought the baby home to a house without a bouncy seat!
Once Nicholas arrived, I learned quickly that he didn’t care what he wore, he had no interest in toys, and he much preferred sleeping on my chest to snoozing in any of our carefully chosen contraptions. He didn’t really need any of the stuff we gathered. He just needed his mom and dad. We were his shelter, I was his food source, and he felt safe with us. Sure, life with a newborn was a little easier with fancy swaddle blankets, a white noise machine, and a dozen pacifiers, but if we’d had none of those, we all would have been just fine.
My son is seven months old now, and he still doesn’t truly need much. He’s happier playing with my hair than with any other toy. He still prefers to sleep on one of us whenever he can get away with it. And while he is a big fan of the bouncy seat, his dad’s knee does the job even better.
When I rock him at night, I whisper in his ear to help him drift off. I tell him that he can relax and go to sleep with a full tummy in his warm bed and that mommy and daddy will watch over him. Every night, as I feel his little body melt onto my shoulder and hear his tiny snores, I know that he has what he needs most – parents who love him more than anything in the world.
How You Can Make a Difference For Kids in Crisis.
You can get involved in the Relay for Kids, too! Visit Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood to read and share posts. From March 23 until April 24, each time you ‘like’ or share a Relay for Kids post via the social media icons or comment in the section below, Johnson & Johnson will trigger a $1 donation (per social action) to SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest organization dedicated to orphaned or abandoned children, up to $30,000*. $1 provides food, shelter and medical care to a child in crisis. In addition, you can also Donate A Photo** and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 when you upload a photo for SOS Children’s Villages — you can help raise up to $20,000 in seconds with the click of your mouse or snap of your smart phone.
Johnson & Johnson, SOS Children’s Villages and The Huffington Post created the Relay for Kids to support children around the world who have been affected by poverty, conflict, disease and natural disasters. Visit www.sos-usa.org/relayforkids to learn more.
*Blogs must be shared between March 23 to April 24, via twitter or Facebook from the Huffington Post. Each share will trigger a $1 donation up to $30,000. There are no limits on how many times you can share a post.
** via the Donate A Photo app for iOS and Android. Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.